Weather Blog: Severe Storms and Heavy Rain Likely Today into Tonight

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UPDATE: Here’s the latest information as of Tuesday morning. The enhanced risk for severe storms still continues for western parts of the weather coverage area, BUT the risk has been expanded farther southeast to include some of the River Valley and more of Northwest Arkansas.  The heavy rain threat has also been increased across the area, with most of the area now under a moderate risk of flash flooding through tonight leading to an expansion of the Flash Flood Watch into the River Valley.

The expected rain amounts have also been increased across the area through tonight according to the latest from the WPC with widespread totals ranging from 4 to 7 inches.  If you live near a creek, stream or river… be prepared for rapidly rising waters later tonight and never drive through a flooded road.

As of late Tue morning, there STILL remains some uncertainty as to the exact timing of the storms and also the types of storms (supercells or more of a line). If the storms can remain more isolated instead of forming into a line of storms, the severe threat for tornadoes and large hail will be increased and could lead to a moderate risk upgrade later today.

As of 10 am this morning, the radar shows just a few light showers, BUT that likely won’t last by this afternoon.  Below is the LATEST future radar from the most recent high-resolution computer model (HRRR) with the timestamp included. There appears to be three main chances for storms

1) Early afternoon starting after the noon hour (least likely)

2) Late afternoon after 5 PM lasting until 9 PM (becoming more likely)

3) Widespread heavy rain from a line of storms late evening after 9 PM into the overnight hours Wed. (most likely timing) 

The individual threats from the storms remains highly conditional, which means we just have to see how the storms form and evolve over time. IF the storms can remain as isolated supercells, the threat for tornadoes will be greater with those storms. The main threats from the line of storms will be damaging winds and large hail.

Here’s the latest significant tornado parameter across the area for late tonight, showing us that each storm will need to be watched closely, since they will have the capability of producing tornadoes. This could change with the next model run, but there are indications the tornado threat could be maximized this evening over the area.

So to recap…

– Heavy rain is looking more likely with widespread amounts of over 4 inches possible.

– Storm timing remains uncertain, but they could start as early as after the noon hour. Timing looks more likely late tonight into early Wed morning.

– Will have to watch storms if they remain isolated or form into a solid line. More isolated means more significant severe weather potential.

Keep it here with your Weather Authority Team for the latest severe weather information as we bring you multiple updates throughout the day.

-Chief Meteorologist Dan Skoff

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